What are dermal fillers?
The most popular dermal fillers used today are made of a material using hyaluronic acid based products, such as those in the Juvéderm range manufactured by Allergan. These hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are non-permanent, meaning that they are reabsorbed into the body over time.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is found in body tissues, and it has been used safely in general medical applications for several decades.
How do dermal fillers work?
Throughout the ageing process we lose some of the skin’s ‘building blocks’ such as collagen and fat, which are the materials that prevent to skin becoming loose and saggy, allowing fine lines and wrinkles to appear. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more visible lines and wrinkles start to appear. The facial bones and fat pads begin to shrink accelerating the creation of folds and deep wrinkles.
The dermal filler acts as a replacement for the lost fat and helps to restore our skin to its former youthful appearance.
The material is carefully injected into different layers of the skin depending on the type of filler selected and the patient’s needs. Dermal fillers are available in different thicknesses and viscosity that match to the patients needs. The thicker products are generally reserved for deep folds or wrinkles, whilst smoother product is used to plump out fine lines and wrinkles.
What are the benefits of dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are not permanent, so as our faces and perceptions of beauty may change overtime, patients can reassess their needs.
At Skin Medical we only use Juvéderm fillers, which are FDA approved for their safety and effectively. There is a range of Juvéderm Fillers to use for varying applications. For example, thicker material such as Voluma are used to add volume to sunken cheeks and less defined chins, to reshaping the tip of a person’s nose, and the Juvéderm Ultra range comes in varying thicknesses, allowing greater precision, and are long-lasting.
Dermal fillers are often the preferred treatment to cosmetic surgery because of the risks associated with general anaesthetics and cosmetic surgery and their cost effectiveness. Results are instant: patients can see how much they like the treatment as it progresses and can request for a more dramatic effect if they desire at the time of treatment.
What does the dermal filler procedure involve?
The first step in the process is to arrange a consultation with nurse practitioner who has specifically been trained in the use of dermal fillers. It is strongly recommended that you select a clinic which is registered and licensed with Care Quality Commission (CQC) as this ensures that the premises are hygienic and the practitioners are properly trained in the treatments they perform. It also gives reassurance that patients can return for review should any post treatment concerns arise. It also gives reassurance of the practitioner’s credentials, training and capabilities.
At consultation the practitioner will take details of patient medical history, current medication and complete a care plan, having discussed the patient’s requirements and expectations. The practitioner will then be in a position to advise treatment options and make individual treatment recommendations.
At the consultation patients will be provided with cost of investment for the treatment options provided. The practitioner will provide the risks associated with injectable treatments in writing. Patients can then reflect on what has been said and be given written treatment information.
Treatments generally take between 30 – 45 minutes. A topical anaesthetic cream will be applied prior to appointment to maximise patient comfort during the procedure. The Juvéderm product, unlike the majority of fillers on the market, has local anaesthetic in the solutions, making the treatment more comfortable. After having the injection, the practitioner will give patients aftercare advice and information.
How common are dermal filler treatments?
Hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm, are the 2nd most popular cosmetic treatment. Last year there was over 1.2 million treatments in the USA alone. Comparable figures are not available in UK, however there is evidence to support the theory that the usage per population is similar. The reason for their popularity can be attributed to the minimal side effects and effectiveness of treatment. The other main reasons for their popularity is that many people are not ready or prepared to have cosmetic surgery but still want an effective and long lasting treatment.
What areas can dermal fillers treat?
Typical areas that can be treated are:
- Nasolabial lines or folds, which run from each corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth.
- Smile lines appearing on the cheeks.
- Lip plumping is an extremely popular request by growing number of women purely looking to enhance their natural appearance, as opposed to an anti-ageing solution.
- Cheek Volumising can create improved definition of the face that is lost over the years through the ageing process, giving sunken or flat cheeks. As we get older our facial bones shrink causing skin folds to appear. Building up our cheek bones using dermal fillers such as Juvéderm or Sculptra is an effective way of combating these imperfections.
- Deep forehead wrinkles, frown and crow’s feet can be treated using dermal fillers, however many patients with fine wrinkles are best treated using Botox.
- Wrinkled hands are often the most likely visible sign of ageing and difficult to conceal. Juvéderm Hydrate revitalises hands for a more youthful appearance. Juvéderm Hydrate is not a dermal filler or volumiser, but a treatment specifically designed to improve skin hydration and elasticity in the face, neck, décolletage, and hands. It effectively replenishes depleted levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin to restore a natural, healthy glow.
Where should you go to have dermal fillers?
As injections involve breaking the skin and inserting foreign substances to a patient’s face or body, patients should always seek to have their consultation and medical treatment with a fully qualified clinician. Clinics that are registered by Care Quality Commission (CQC) have a legal obligation to adhere to quality standards and regulations. Such clinics are obliged to ensure training, qualifications and proper vetting of staff are performed before they are allowed to treat patients. Experienced clinicians, such as those at Skin Medical, have a wealth of knowledge on the facial and other muscles giving them experience on how best to perform treatments specific to the patient’s needs.
Everyone’s face is different and a ‘one size fits all approach’ is not going to give individual patients the optimum outcome and pleasing aesthetic result.
Who should perform dermal fillers?
At Skin Medical our nurse practitioners have over ten years’ experience in performing dermal fillers. It is most advisable to ensure your practitioner has several years’ experience in performing not only injectables for dermal fillers but also other procedures such as Sculptra as this shows that they have breadth of knowledge and experience, as well as a sound understanding of the facial anatomy and anti-ageing technology.
At Skin Medical we consult with patients at every step of the procedure so that they are given every opportunity to influence how much filler and where they believe it is required. However, our practitioners will only perform procedures on patients where it is medically indicated that treatment is suitable.
What possible side effects can result from dermal fillers?
All dermal filler treatments have the risk of temporary bruising around the injection site, swollen facial features during the initial healing period and infection at injection site. These risks are higher when treatments are performed in unsterile environments such as hairdressers, beauty clinics or home environments and by inexperienced or unqualified practitioners.
The side effects and risks associated with dermal fillers will be discussed with the practitioner at consultation.
How painful are the dermal filler injections?
As a local topical anaesthetic cream is applied 20 -30 minutes before treatment and Juvéderm products themselves contain lidocaine which is a fast acting anaesthetic, the vast majority of patients find the injections tolerable with slight initial discomfort.
Discomfort levels maybe higher if patients opt for an inexperienced practitioner or use an inferior product.
Which dermal fillers do you recommend?
At Skin Medical we will normally recommend Juvéderm products because of their safety record and clinical evidence of their effectiveness, supported by the fact they are FDA approved. Additionally, Juvéderm products include lidocaine which is an anaesthetic for patient’s comfort during treatment.
We would always recommend that patients use FDA-approved products as this ensures that they have undergone rigorous testing for their safety and effectiveness, and that patients are treated by fully qualified and experienced practitioners.
How long does the dermal fillers last?
Typically most fillers last around six to nine months, with the exact time depending on the area applied and the individual patient, as some patients’ bodies break down the fillers faster then others. Juvéderm Ultra lasts up to 1 year and Juvéderm Voluma, which is a volumising filler, typically lasts 18 months.
What is the typical cost of dermal fillers?
The cost of dermal fillers starts from £200. The exact cost of fillers for each patient will be determined at consultation as the practitioner will need to determine the most suitable filler and the number of areas being treated.
At Skin Medical, we only use Juvéderm fillers.